Young Victoria offspinner Glenn Maxwell likes to keep the game moving, but Shane Warne has counselled him on the art of slowing things down.
If anyone knows how to get inside a batsman’s head it’s legspin great Warne, who is Maxwell’s captain for Big Bash team Melbourne Stars.
Australia have included uncapped allrounder Maxwell in place of injured vice-captain Shane Watson in a 13-man squad for the third Test against Sri Lanka starting on January 3 at the SCG.
“I have been lucky enough to work with Shane Warne a fair bit over the last few weeks and he’s been really good especially with the mental side of the game,” Maxwell said on Saturday.
“It’s a lot more about patience. I’m a cricketer who wants things to happen really quickly and want the game to keep moving forward.
“He (Warne) has helped me to slow down and take a few deep breaths, just work things over whether it be moving a fielder two steps over and then two steps back, sort of getting into the batsman’s head a bit.
“He talked a lot about batter manipulation, just simple little things like that.
“He has been great to work with, just to delve into the mind that is the best spin bowler we have ever produced.”
Maxwell says his introduction to the national side at one-day and Twenty20 levels during the August-September tour in the desert climate of the United Arab Emirates was a learning experience on and off the field.
“I had to have a haircut and shave every now and then,” the 24-year-old grinned.
“I turned up to the squad and (Australia coach and selector) Mickey Arthur goes `are you going to shave any time soon?’ and I said `oh, probably’.
“So about 10 minutes later I went to my room and had a shave. It’s basically about looking the part as a cricketer, tucking your shirt in when you’re told.
“I was a little bit country-boyish coming into the side.”
Playing in Sydney would represent a massive opportunity for Maxwell to advance his cause for the upcoming tour of India.
“I bowled a fair bit in Sydney (for Australia A) against South Africa so I knew I was being considered as a spin option,” said Maxwell, who would form a two-pronged spin attack with offspinner Nathan Lyon.